Environmental Economics

Lab Seminar: Bargaining in the Shadow of Prior Appropriation

Leslie Sanchez, research economist at the USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station presented on Native American water settlement negotiations. Water use in the western United States remains highly concentrated in irrigated agriculture, in part because the first in time, first in right tenets of appropriative water law have insulated irrigators, as senior appropriators, from legal challenges to their water use.

Lab Seminar: Predicting PFAS in Drinking Water

Laura Quinones presented ongoing research on PFAS, also known as “Forever Chemicals," that have become prevalent in domestic water supplies. The long lasting nature of these pollutants is worrisome and highlights the need for policy intervention. The discrepancy between state and federal regulation has led to unequal testing across the US. Data availability is sparse across states and limits our ability to perform policy evaluation surrounding these chemicals.

Lab Seminar: Customer perspectives of real-time electricity tariffs

ARE Ph.D. student Stuart Morrison presented his work on customer responses to variable electricity pricing in Australia. It is becoming increasingly common for energy providers to charge residential consumers a price that is driven by daily electricity markets, rather than a conventional, flat fee. Economic theory suggests that residential consumers will adjust their behavior as prices change throughout the day. But there are many margins along which this adjustment might occur.

Lab Seminar: The Principle of Targeting and Environmental Benefits

Erica Chuang, Ph.D. candidate in the University of California San Diego Department of Economics, presented on principle of targeting for environmental externalities. Economists generally agree that in terms of tax and subsidy structure, Pigou is king. However, market-based instruments that imprecisely target externalities are common, and the degree to which imprecision matters for the objectives of those policies has yet to be fully explored.

Lab Seminar: The Impacts of Grid-Scale Lithium-Ion Battery Investment on Wholesale Electricity Prices in California

Matt Dudek presented his work on the impact of grid-scale battery storage capacity on electricity prices in California. A key barrier to expanding renewable energy production is the daily mismatch between intermittent generation and electricity demand. For example, despite a massive expansion in the low marginal cost solar power production, electricity can only be produced from these sources when the sun is shining.

Lab Seminar: Tropical forest protection and land clearing fires in Indonesia

Yuexuan (Kelly) Wu presented ongoing research on the impact of a deforestation moratorium in Indonesia. Since 2000, Indonesia has seen a 17% reduction in forest cover. Much of the forest loss can be attributed to fires that are used to permanently clear land for agriculture. If the moratorium is effective, we should expect that land-clearing fire activity decreases in areas impacted by the moratorium relative to areas that are not impacted by the moratorium.

Lab Seminar - Climate adaptation: wild fires, risk preferences, and migration

Madeline Turland recently presented her job market paper, which explores the factors driving human migration in response to the threat of wildfires and how people's risk preferences impact their choice of where to live. Many individuals opt to move to areas with lower wildfire risk as a strategy for risk reduction. To measure the impact of changes in wildfire risk, she developed a novel data set by using a quirk of California insurance markets.

Lab Seminar - Health Effects from Exposure to Forever Chemicals in Drinking Water

Laura Alcocer Quinones presented plans for a study estimating the health effects of exposure to PFAS (per and polyalyfluoral substances) in drinking water. Exposure to PFAS is associated with kidney disease and complications during pregnancy, such as preeclampsia. However, little is known about the precise relationships between health outcomes and exposure to PFAS through drinking water.